Anxiety explainer & toolkit

Your ultimate guide to understanding, coping and conquering the inner demons. Plus, a practical toolkit to help you deal with anxiety when it strikes, as well as another toolkit to lessen anxiety in the long term.

Social fitness

Enjoying the weather? Did you see the game? Small talk and simple face-to-face interactions have a bigger effect on our wellbeing than you might think. So, do you fancy a coffee?

Social media

TikTok and Instagram: good or bad? It’s tempting to think that our digital lives on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat are at fault, but there might be something altogether more analogue going on, says Prof Pete Etchells.

Predicting mental health issues

A group of researchers say they’ve found a way to screen teenagers’ brains for mental health issues... before the issues manifest.


  • Aliens: Are aliens aware of our presence? Harvard professor Avi Loeb says we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that extraterrestrials are already observing us.
  • Superfoods: Will gene editing usher in a new era of genuine superfoods?
  • Dr Kate Darling: Automation or fauxtomation? How artificial intelligence could change the face of many industries, but it’ll be humans that decide how.

Issue 391 on sale 11 May 2023

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Holly SpannerStaff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Holly is the staff writer at BBC Science Focus, and specialises in astronomy. Before joining the team she was a geoenvironmental consultant and holds an MSc in Geoscience (distinction) from UCL.